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Subject: Re: favorite opera books
From: Kenneth Bleeth <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kenneth Bleeth <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 10 Feb 2018 01:21:41 +0000
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I agree about “Les Autres Soirs,” although I believe that Schwarzkopf had a
falling out with Tubeuf at some point after the book was published.

On Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 8:19 PM Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I want to say I like books that seem to reflect real honesty on the part
> of the subject, but then, how do we know?
>
> Of two that really seem honest, there’s “The Flagstad Manuscript” and
> Elisabeth Schwarzkopf reminiscences, “Les Autres Soirs.” Both are “as told
> to”: in the case of the Flagstad the actual author is Louis Biancolli and
> in the case of the Schwarzkopf it’s André Tubeuf. I found that both can
> stir significant emotion in reading, particularly the Flagstad. Both also
> give some real insight into the art of the singer and even their way of
> approaching the voice and technique - something that is rarer in singer
> biographies than you would think.
>
> I’ve been warned by people who knew him that John Culshaw would always put
> a good story above particularly strict adherence to the truth, but I think
> his “Ring Resounding” and “Putting the Record Straight” are marvelously
> entertaining books. Same with the collection of Walter Legge’s notes and
> correspondence put together by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, “On and Off the
> Record.”
>
> Galine Vishnevskaya's autobiography is vey dramatic.
>
> Of the great Wagner ladies post Flagstad, I think the Varnay biography is
> a wonderful read, as is “la Nilsson” and the collection of interviews that
> make up Martha Mödl’s “So war mein Weg.” The interesting thing about these
> books is the differing perspective on the same era and performances
> centering on the 1950s and Bayreuth. Have to say, Mödl comes across as
> quite a sweet person. Anja Silja’s bio is yet a differing perspective, of
> course leaning more into the 1960s.
>
> Max Paley
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